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INTERVIEWS

Shane O’Neill Breaks Down the Origin of April on The Nine Club

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Shane O’Neill is known for being a man of few words; so this three-hour interview with The Nine Club is unexpected to say the least. There’s tons of newsworthy bits in here including a new Nike SB part that’s in the works, and potentially a signature shoe. O’Neill also weighs in on skating for Australia in the 2020 Olympics, and says he plans on being there if he qualifies. But what grabbed our attention the most was his telling of how April came to be, and the fact that Diego Najera was a part of Shane’s original plan to do a company when he left Skate Mental in 2015.

I was going to potentially start a company at this point in time. I was talking with Paul [Rodriguez]; and we were maybe going to do it within Primitive. I had another skater who I was paying my own money, which was Diego [Najera]. With the Diego situation, Felix [Arguelles] had helped him a lot with getting his name out there. He was on Ammo and Famous… and everything was going there. But I think Diego just wanted a change, too. So I was friends with him, and talked to him; and we were basically going to do something. I was like, “Hey, I’m gonna figure this out. I’ll pay you monthly” It didn’t happen for long at all… It was going to be a board company. That didn’t work out. It made a lot more sense to ride for Primitive… My requests were: “I wanted to work with certain people; and you have to put Diego on as well.” [1:40:33]

O’Neill also alludes to something going wrong internally at Primitive, which is why April wasn’t created as its sister company.

I was almost going to do the company [April] with Primitive; and it didn’t work. I don’t know why. It didn’t work. [1:44:01]

Make of that what you will. For more, watch the full interview above.

INTERVIEWS

‘Good Work’ Episode Features Lisa Whitaker and Meow Skateboards

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Skater Lisa Whitaker narrated how she started Meow Skateboards in this episode of “Good Work”.

She also related how she got introduced to skateboarding and how she founded Girls Skate Network in 2003.

Whitaker started her skateboard company in 2012. Now, Meow has more than a dozen talents including Vanessa Torres, Mariah Duran and Kristin Ebeling.

“Lisa has always been the catalyst for women skateboarding”, says Torres who was one of the first skaters to join Meow’s roster.

Produced by Red Bull, the Good Work series features skater-owned and operated businesses.

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INTERVIEWS

Monster Energy’s Aspire-Inspire Episode Features Mami Tezuka

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Get to know more about Mami Tezuka in this episode of Aspire-Inspire by Monster Energy.

Surrounded by skaters growing up, Mami showed interest in skateboarding at around the age of three.

She started participating in competitions abroad in 2017. In 2021, she won silver in the X Games Women’s Skateboarding part. She landed third place in X Games Chiba 2022.

Fellow Monster Energy rider and friend Lizzie Armanto describes Mami as easy-going, fun to be around, and inspiring. “When I’m around her, I want to push myself better,”

Tezuka admits that she enjoys filming video parts more enjoyable than participating in contests.

“Competition is kind of stressful for me”, Mami said. But added that she does enjoy seeing everyone at contests.

“Filming part is more fun for me…it doesn’t to be hard, tricky trick, but you can see the style and progress of the skating”, explained Mami.

I want to inspire girl skaters and young people. Do what you love and then don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Mami tezuka

Aspire-Inspire is a mini-documentary series by Monster Energy. Previous episodes featured Aurelien Giraud, Kelvin Hoefler, Rune Glifberg, Ayumu Hirano, Nyjah Huston, and Matt Berger.

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INTERVIEWS

The Nine Club Features Elliot Sloan

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Elliot Sloan narrated how he injured his neck while doing a 900 and his other worst slams on the ramp in this episode of The Nine Club podcast.

He also talked about getting into vert and then mega ramp, building his own vert and mini mega ramp in his own backyard, and hosting the X Games in his backyard among other things in the two-hour podcast.

Sloan is a four-time X Games Big Air gold medalist. In the recent X Games held in his backyard, he landed second place in the debut of the Mega Ramp category and first in the Skateboard Vert Best Trick.

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